Monday, March 30, 2015

Cacao Chia Protein Pancakes

Clean Eating Cacao Chia Pancakes by Running Girl

Sometimes a little Insanity in life is great.  When I did the long 58 min Insanity workout (I usually avoid that one--it's hard), I was dripping sweat and shaky after 15 minutes, but I kept going, fantasizing about what flavors to combine to make the ultimate protein pancake lunch treat.  This is what I came up with, and it tasted amazing.  In fact, just typing up the ingredients is making me want it for dessert.  Or dinner.  I wonder if the hubby would mind...

Protein Pancakes

cacao chia pancakes with cacao nibs

Cacao Chia Protein Pancakes
yields 6 little pancakes


2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons Wild Friends Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter
4 teaspoons ground chia seeds
1 teaspoon psyllium husk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 mashed banana
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs

optional: additional Wild Friends Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter and raw cacao nibs, for topping
This topping is ridiculously good.  If Wild Friends wanted to send me some, I would cry tears of joy most likely.  I'm still imagining a Wild Friends/Running Girl Bakery dream team...maybe one day.  Dreaming big!


1.  Mash banana, and puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until creamy; set aside 10 minutes to thicken and set.
2.  Preheat oven and bake "pancakes" on parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat at 350F for 8-10 min, or cook traditionally in a pan stovetop.

"pancakes" baking on split mat

3.  Enjoy warm and top with Wild Friends Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter and raw cacao nibs if desired.

Plain Cacao Chia Pancakes

Cacao Chia Protein Pancakes with topping

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buddha Shake Curry Stew

Want to set yourself up for success for a healthy dinner?  Set up the crockpot!  A filling, hearty stew that you make yourself is the best way to stay on track during those busy days when it's tempting to just grab food to go.  You control the ingredients, and in this case, the ingredients are phenomenal! (No joke, I enjoyed a hearty portion last night and woke up this morning energized for a nice 10 mile jog along the coast.  Bliss, I tell you).

This is a super fast and easy stew that will make your house smell amazing.  It will fill you up and satisfy those dessert cravings--the slightly sweet adzuki beans mixed with cinnamon curry spices is simply divine.  It compliments the creamy butternut squash and veggies perfectly, I promise.  I stand by my claim that cinnamon is great in everything.

Buddha Shake Curry Stew
yields: a ton  (ok, maybe 8-10 servings)

2-1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 cups garbanzo beans (dried)
1 cup adzuki beans (dried)
2 medium tomatoes diced
1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups frozen or fresh peas
2 tablespoons Red Ape Buddha Shake Curry Mix*
1 tablespoon curry powder


1.  Throw all ingredients into a large crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours.
2.  Reduce to low and add spinach and peas, cooking for 1 more hour.
3.  Serve warm and enjoy!

*have no access to Red Ape?  Poor you!  This mix contains red pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, mustard, black pepper, fenugreek, ginger, turmeric, clove, cardamom, allspice and sea salt.

See?  Told you it was easy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Zucchini Squash "Spaghetti" with nut-free Pesto

raw vegetable "pasta"

I know it seems like I only eat treats, but I do occasionally invent a yummy dish that I just have to share.  Earlier this week my husband and I entertained some friends, and the zucchini dish I invented on the fly was so good, I just had to recreate it for lunch today (ok, and dinner.  And maybe lunch tomorrow, too).  I tweaked the recipe slightly for an even more filling, flavorful version and what I came up with was really quite good and best of all: easy.

By the way, do you love pesto but can't have pine nuts or dairy?  Yeah, me too.  Try this recipe for what is essentially a really good pesto-hummus hybrid chock full of fresh organic basil, and you won't feel so sad.  Plus veggie "pasta" beats regular pasta anytime!  (Don't believe me?  Compare how your body feels after a hearty veggie dish versus a giant plate of pasta.  I dare you.)

Another little side note: everyone knows basil smells amazing, but did you know it is ridiculously good for you?  (Well so is garlic, zucchini, squash, lemon, beans--hey!  This whole dish!)  Anyways, back to basil.  My family is part Italian so naturally I grew up eating vast amounts of basil--we even had a guinea pig named Basil.  But I digress.  Basil contains tons of inflammatory properties and healthy phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 1  It has been used for its healing properties in many cultures for ages, and can be worked into a variety of dishes in many flavorful ways.  Try this recipe and you'll be hooked on my "pesto"--I promise!

Raw Zucchini Squash with nut-free Pesto
serves 4-6


half spaghetti squash, baked*
1 large zucchini squash, shredded
half to full avocado
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 a lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup fresh basil

*cut a spaghetti squash in half, place the squash in a 1/2" of water and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a fork easily inserts into the skin.


1.  Once the squash has cooled, take a fork and create noodle-like shreds.
2.  Toss the zucchini and squash together and set aside while you puree the "sauce."
3.  In a food processor, puree the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, spices and garbanzo beans.
4.  Toss the "noodles" in the sauce and serve with a garnish of lemon.  Yum!

(1) Nordqvist, Joseph.  Medical News Today,  September 8, 2012.  Available at: Accessed March 20, 2015.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes

This recipe is so good, you won't want to share.  After an hour dog walk and a little home yoga and Pilates session, I was ready for a filling light meal.  I also wanted to use up some organic pumpkin in the fridge, and so I decided to try a new recipe and as it sometimes happens, the result was magical.

Though this recipe is not vegan, it is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and organic.  If you have a great egg-free version, I'd love to hear it!

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes
Serves: 1 (trust me, you won't want to share)

pumpkin chia seed pancakes
little update: 1/2 teaspoon of maca makes another great version!


1/4 cup organic pumpkin
1-3/4 tablespoons Wild Friends Honey Sunflower Seed Butter
1/2 tablespoon organic chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon Red Ape Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (corn-free, aluminum-free)
1 free-range organic egg (or 2 egg whites)
optional: organic unsweetened applesauce and additional cinnamon for topping


1.  Blend all ingredients together in a little blender or food processor, or mix well by hand.

2.  Spritz a pan with coconut oil and once hot, divide batter into three pancakes.

3.  Cook for about 4 minutes and then flip; once golden and firmed up around edges it is done.

4.  Serve warm alone or with unsweetened applesauce and organic Red Ape Cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Nutritional Value (plain)
Calories: 243
Total Fat: 14g
Total Carb: 17g
Fiber: 8g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 15g

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fudgy Avocado Brownies

Yes, I've made avocado brownies before.  I must be on the quest for the absolute perfect texture because even though they are always delicious, I always want a slightly richer/creamier/more filling version.  

I think I've finally developed my favorite recipe for avocado brownies at last!  They store well and taste decadent yet are full of healthy fats and proteins and antioxidants from the raw cacao make it truly a treat to try!  
(Or buy from Running Girl Bakery ;)

This recipe yields about 15 thick, fudgy squares but the recipe can be easily halved for a smaller amount.  Alternately you can grease a muffin pan for round little brownies if you prefer.  Either way, enjoy warm or chilled; they store great in the fridge for several days.

fudgy avocado brownie with coffee

Fudgy Avocado Brownies


2 ripe avocados
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup black bean flour (or any gluten-free flour)
7.5 oz nondairy chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand), melted


1.  Puree avocados in a food processor until smooth; add in eggs, vanilla and cacao powder.
2.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in gluten-free flour: I used coconut flour and bean flour for protein.
3.  Melt nondairy chips in the microwave or over a double boiler, and gradually add to the food processor or blending, mixing until well combined.
4.  Spread mixture in a greased or lined 9" square pan (I had a little extra batter I used in a muffin tin).  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack 15-20 minutes and served

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chia Supergreens Pudding

By now you've probably come across chia pudding recipes.  If you have no idea what chia pudding is--think of a healthy, filling tapioca pudding...that is way less sweet.  If you're a fan of tapioca, then you'll really like chia pudding!  Chia pudding versions are even better: they are more filling, and far more nutritious.  Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants, and they store well, and are digested easily whole or ground.  It's so simple to toss them in salads, smoothies, baked goods--almost anything.  Including this green chocolate pudding!

Chia Supergreens Pudding
Serves 1


1/2 frozen banana
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup dark leafy greens: I used kale and spinach
1 scoop protein or superfood powder (I used Chocolate Vegan Shakeology)
optional: 1/2 teaspoon spirulina
*if you're using a non-chocolate protein powder (hemp protein is also good) then add 1.5 TBSP raw cacao powder
*if your protein or superfood powder is not sweet, add a little raw honey or maple to taste


1.  Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.
2.  Chill refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours for a nice creamy "pudding"!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Protein Bean Butter Waffles

I woke up this morning hungry.  So in lieu of a breakfast smoothie, I decided to make my morning a little more luxurious with waffles.  And it was a waffle kind of morning, according to my muppet dog, Zeke:

Plus I wanted an excuse to try Wild Friends Maple Sunflower Seed butter.  I scoured the internet and Pinterest for recipe ideas, but was discouraged to see the majority of waffle recipes contained too much bland gluten-free flour for my liking, not to mention sugar and dairy.

For a boost of energy and a filling meal to sustain you all morning, whip out your food processor or high speed blender and follow along!

Protein Bean Butter Waffles
Yields 4 medium waffles


1-1/4 cup red kidney beans
2 tablespoons oats, finely ground into a flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tbsp ground chia seeds, mixed with 3 tablespoons water
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
1/4 cup Wild Friends Maple Sunflower Seed Butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash sea salt (optional)

kidney beans
strain and rinse kidney beans or beans of choice

finely ground oats to use as oat flour


1.  Mix ground chia seeds and water, stir and set aside to thicken and gel.
2.  Melt coconut oil.
3.  Pour all ingredients into the food processor bowl or blender.
4.  Puree until smooth.

doesn't look super appetizing, but trust me, it is!
5.  Pour on a preheated nonstick or oil-spritzed waffle iron and cook until done.

6.  Enjoy plain or topped with unsweetened applesauce!

bean protein waffles with applesauce

gluten-free bean protein waffles

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gluten-Free Vegan Snickerdoodle Bars

Ok, you caught me; this recipe isn't quite as clean-eating as some of my previous ones, but it is dang good.  Especially on those cold or rainy days, a warm cinnamon bar reminiscent of a snickerdoodle cookie is just the thing after a hard workout.  Or you know, a rest day that you spend indoors drinking tea and snuggling with your pups (you caught me!)

Not only do these taste amazing, they smell amazing (thanks Red Ape Cinnamon, now everything I make I want to smell like cinnamon).  Plus, your house will instantly smell like a bakery.  So: you're welcome!  Pop these into the oven, grab a blanket and your dog, and have a little relaxing you time. Not a shabby way to spend a chilly Tuesday!

Gluten-Free Vegan Snickerdoodle Bars
Yields 6 large bars or 9-12 smaller ones


1/2 cup non-dairy butter (soy or coconut butter)
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar or sucanat
1 TBSP ground up flax meal or chia meal
3 TBSP water
1-1/3 cup gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Red Ape Cinnamon
dash sea salt

1-1/2 TBSP coconut palm sugar
1-1/2 teapsoon Red Ape Cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8" square pan with parchment paper.  Spritz or rub coconut oil on paper and set aside.
2.  Stir flax or chia meal in the 3 TBSP water and set aside to gel and thicken.
3.  Beat nondairy butter and sugar in a bowl, then add in the water mixture.
4.  Stir in flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
5.  Mix sugar and cinnamon for topping, sprinkle on top at bake at 350 for 25-28 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6.  Let cool 5-10 min on a wire rack before cutting and serve warm.